Dirt divides community

2019-07-16 06:00
Some residents say the dumpers come at night so that they don’t get caught.The rubbish that has left residents pointing fingers at one another.PHOTO: siphesihle notwabaza

Some residents say the dumpers come at night so that they don’t get caught.The rubbish that has left residents pointing fingers at one another.PHOTO: siphesihle notwabaza

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Stinking, disgusting and unhealthy are some of the most common words among a group of Manenberg residents.

The group that lives close to a local clinic and the library, where dumping is a regular occurrence, are accusing fellow residents who stay a bit further from the two landmarks of dumping which causes an unbearable stench in the area.

Naeema Morris, who lives extremely close to where dumping occurs, says she is sick and tired of people polluting the area.

Morris lives with her two daughters and three grandchildren and she is worried about their health. She says she has to monitor them whenever they go play outside to ensure they do not play among the litter.

Morris is adamant that the people who dump do not live in the proximity of the clinic. “If you tell them not to litter, they become rude to you,” she says.

Morris accuses the City of Cape Town of not acting harshly enough to control the situation. “I reported these people to Law Enforcement and they came but did not catch them. They (dumping residents) watched until they (Law Enforcement) were gone and came to dump again,” she expressed.

Another angry resident Rashieda Robertson says she has lived in the area for more than 50 years. She attributes the dumping to the growing population. She says there is dumping everywhere in the area, with some people dumping on public roads and at bus stops. “This is very bad and because of it we have mice in the houses,” she says.

According to Robertson, the situation has gotten worse with people just throwing everything away, including old furniture. She claims the culprits keep an eye on authorities and only dump once they have left the neighbourhood.

Her wish is for the culprits to be considerate to the people who live in the area. She says they are putting children’s health in jeopardy.

For Yumna Alexander, another resident, the issue is deeper than the dirt. She says residents are not properly schooled about who to complain to. She blames some community leaders of not availing themselves to the residents.

“Apparently we have a guy who is in charge of the street cleaning services in Manenberg but no one knows where to find him,” she says.

Another issue she raised was that all cleaners care about is cleaning the municipal offices and not the streets where ordinary people reside.

She also expressed concern for the health of the children whom she said are exposed to the dirty situation.

The ward councillor for the area, Bonita Jacobs was not available to comment due to ill health.

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